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Handmade Wild Horse Fine Art Book Project Starts Now

“Everything that’s created comes out of silence. Your thoughts emerge from the nothingness of silence. Your words come out of this void. Your very essence emerged from emptiness. All creativity requires some stillness.”

-Dr. Wayne Dyer

Both Tim Jr. and I are officially starting our brand new wild horse fine art handmade book for 2023.

The new book is unique because it is truly handmade using authentic 19th-century style fine art prints for the images in the book. Every aspect of the book is made by hand, from the individual prints to the cover and binding.

My goal is to share my handmade wild horse fine art photo book with people that want to slow down, be still, and be fully present.

I am offering a limited-time opportunity for art buyers and collectors that want to support the development and creation of our first limited edition of 100 handmade wild horse fine art books. The book will include at least 12 handmade wild horse fine art prints with acid-free interleaving vellum between each print. Each piece of artwork in the book is embossed with a custom stamp and each artwork is titled, dated, and signed. A final version of the artist statement will be at the front of the book and be hand signed. The book will be made in a lay-flat style, so you can enjoy each piece of artwork with the book lying flat. You will receive a certificate of authenticity hand signed and dated. You will be rewarded as an early supporter because you will save 50% off the final price of this limited edition handmade book. In a world where everything is mass produced and cheaply made, our handmade wild horse fine art book is a rare opportunity to support an artist that is committed to pre-mechanized 19th century handmade processes. You’ll be rewarded with a unique and collectible artwork that you’ll appreciate for the rest of your life.

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If you are a photographer or interested in learning about analog photography, we have an Analog Photography Membership Community that is the only community of its kind where you can learn and explore analog photography in depth. I also have an extensive training library of video workshops and guidebooks if you prefer to download the videos and books for offline use.

I am on a personal journey trying to heal from my daughter’s tragic death in April 2021 and the wild horses of Shannon County are a significant part of my recovery and healing.

Before I explain my goals for the new book, I need to share some information with you to help you get up to speed first. Watch the video below as I share some of my initial thoughts about the new project.

If you are a photographer or interested in learning about analog photography, we have an Analog Photography Membership Community that is the only community of its kind where you can learn and explore analog photography in depth. I also have an extensive training library of video workshops and guidebooks if you prefer to download the videos and books for offline use.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Tim Layton Fine Art - Learn Analog Photography - TimLaytonFineArt.com

I have been following and photographing the wild horses of Shannon County, Missouri, since 2015.

Before any type of book can be made, I knew that I needed to make a decision on a narrative that would drive my work.

While I haven’t fully resolved this yet, I am working through the process daily by reading, journaling, reflecting, and spending time in the field with the wild horses.

I live near the wild horses, so I can get out to try and find them multiple times a week, typically.

When I started following the wild horses in 2015, I had no idea how much life would change and how much the horses would impact and help me.

I lost my youngest daughter Abigail in a car accident in April of 2021. It was the worst day of my life getting that call, and words cannot describe the pain and agony.

Ten days after the accident, I needed to get outside and breathe. I had been immobile for almost two weeks dealing with the grief and loss, but something tugged at my heart to head out and try and find the wild horses.

The next morning, I arrived at one of the locations that the Broadfoot herd is known to frequent. I got there before sunrise because I couldn’t sleep anyway, but it is also a good time to try and see the horses.

The morning fog filled the landscape before me, and I couldn’t see anything more than a few feet in front of me.

I patiently waited for the light to arrive and just sat still and reflected about everything that had happened.

I thought I heard the horses, but nothing else happened, so I thought I was hearing things.

I continued to wait, and then I thought I could smell the wild horses. It isn’t uncommon for me to be able to smell them before I can see them, so I started to think they could possibly be nearby, but I was still unable to see them.

A couple of minutes went by, and I heard something again. I still couldn’t see anything, but my senses were on full alert because I knew that two occurrences of possibly hearing the horses weren’t likely my imagination.

I continued to wait as the light slowly revealed the field and forest in front of me, and I got a quick glimpse of a white mare about 50 to 75 feet in front of me.

As the light continued to reveal the unseen, I realized a beautiful white mare was standing over the top of her new foal that was lying on the ground in front of her. She split her attention between watching the foal and monitoring her surroundings.

Wild Horse Mare Looking Over Her New Foal in Morning Fog by Tim Layton Fine Art - timlaytonfineart.com

In that instant, I had chills over my entire body, and I realized that Abby was safe and being watched and cared for. I broke down in tears and felt a sense of deep relief. I had been beating myself up for not being able to protect and care for her in her final moments.

I suddenly realized why I had been following and photographing the wild horses for the last several years. Everything lead up to this moment, and I knew why in an instant.

Now a year and a half after losing Abby, I can move forward with this new handmade fine art book project and know I will be honoring her and helping other people while I continue to heal. I can’t imagine any work that could be more important to me.

The horses are incredible role models. They live their life fully present, and they are fully committed to their families. I realized the horses were more than beautiful and majestic creatures; they are symbols of stillness, peace, and healing.

Even before the accident, I had always felt a sense of peace and joy when watching the wild horses in their natural habitat. Now, I have a new understanding of wild horses, and I am excited to share this new work with you.

I am offering a limited-time opportunity for art buyers and collectors that want to support the development and creation of our first limited edition of 100 handmade wild horse fine art books. The book will include at least 12 handmade wild horse fine art prints with acid-free interleaving vellum between each print. Each piece of artwork in the book is embossed with a custom stamp and each artwork is titled, dated, and signed. A final version of the artist statement will be at the front of the book and be hand signed. The book will be made in a lay-flat style, so you can enjoy each piece of artwork with the book lying flat. You will receive a certificate of authenticity hand signed and dated. You will be rewarded as an early supporter because you will save 50% off the final price of this limited edition handmade book. In a world where everything is mass produced and cheaply made, our handmade wild horse fine art book is a rare opportunity to support an artist that is committed to pre-mechanized 19th century handmade processes. You’ll be rewarded with a unique and collectible artwork that you’ll appreciate for the rest of your life.

NEXT STEPS FOR THE BOOK

Creating a handmade fine art book is way outside my comfort zone because I have never made a handmade book before.

I have been reading books and watching videos to try and identify a process that will help me make the kind of handmade book I have in my mind.

I encourage you to take a break for a moment and go read my artist statement because I think it will help bring context to this new book and my work with the horses in general.

I know that I want the prints inside the book to be authentic analog handmade prints, but I am unsure what type of prints I want to make yet. This is why I am working through the process of making various types of prints and all along the way, I continue to read, think, and explore.

There is no way to outsource something like this and the investment of time and materials is outrageous when compared to contemporary digitally made books today. None of that matters to me because this is a deeply personal journey and something that I am compelled to do, no matter the time or cost.

I do know that I want to connect the narrative of my work with the aesthetic of the artwork, and my choice of tools, materials, and methods need to work together in harmony, as I describe in my artist statement.

For my first book, I am almost certain I want to make 5×7 large format contact prints and mount them on beautiful and rich 8×10 watercolor paper. I arrived at this size based on making different sizes and seeing what I thought would work best for my first handmade fine art book. Some print types like kallitypes or platinum/palladium are already on watercolor paper, so they would not need to be mounted separately.

You can follow along behind the scenes on YouTube as I work on my new handmade wild horse fine art book project. I have a playlist dedicated to this project.

I have been working out the technical details and chemistry for making 19th-century-style calotype paper negatives. I am at a point now where I am successfully making high-quality negatives, and I am ready to explore a variety of print types, including silver gelatin, platinum/palladium, salt, kallitypes, oil prints, and possibly others.

While I continue to journal and think about the narrative of this work, I am starting to make different types of prints using various materials. The development and editing of my narrative will likely continue for many months, and the printing exploration will continue for the next couple of months or longer as well.

I appreciate your interest, and you can contact me with any questions or comments.

If you are a photographer or interested in learning about analog photography, we have an Analog Photography Membership Community that is the only community of its kind where you can learn and explore analog photography in depth. I also have an extensive training library of video workshops and guidebooks if you prefer to download the videos and books for offline use.

Tim Layton